Saperstein: The Reform Jewish Movement has long been at the forefront of the fight for equality and we are proud of the efforts of our congregants, congregations and clergy nationwide to defeat this discriminatory Amendment.
Contact: Barbara Weinstein or Samantha Pohl, 202.387.2800
Washington, July 18, 2006 – Following today’s defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment by the United States House of Representatives, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are pleased by today’s House defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Throughout American history, Constitutional Amendments have been the vehicle by which we have extended rights to groups of Americans who were previously denied them. The Constitution was amended to abolish slavery, guarantee equal protection under the law to all citizens regardless of race, and give women the right to vote. The Federal Marriage Amendment would tarnish this rich tradition of progress, enshrine discrimination in our nation’s most sacred document, and undermine the principle of equal protection for all citizens under the law.
The Reform Jewish Movement has long been at the forefront of the fight for equality and we are proud of the efforts of our congregants, congregations and clergy nationwide to defeat this discriminatory Amendment. The Religious Action Center joined in coalition efforts to gather more than 2,000 clergy signatures, representing more than 30 religious denominations, expressing opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. Reform Jewish clergy flew to Washington and lobbied in their communities to raise a religious voice against discrimination and bigotry. These efforts demonstrate clearly that America’s faith communities are diverse in their views and that millions of Americans oppose using the Constitution to deny civil rights to an entire group of citizens.
We believe that family is the fundamental institution of our society and that gay men and lesbians are just as capable as heterosexuals of building monogamous, stable, and loving relationships with their partners.
We must work to ensure any such effort to enshrine homophobia, intolerance, and inequality in our Constitution fails and does so by an overwhelming margin. It is time to stop issuing decrees of hatred and begin enacting legislation and implementing policies that will foster healthy, loving, caring, and committed relationships.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.